Hurricane Iota expected to hit Central America as an ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm

The storm is transferring west at about 10 mph and is about 45 miles off the coast of Isla de Providencia, Colombia. It has most sustained winds of 125 mph, making it a Category Three hurricane, in accordance to an advisory from the National Hurricane Center issued early Monday morning.

“Rapid strengthening is expected during the next 24 hours, and Iota is forecast to be an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane when it approaches Central America tonight,” the NHC advisory mentioned.

Iota is forecast to have a harmful storm surge of 10 to 15 ft, life-threatening rainfall of 1 to 2 ft, “potentially catastrophic winds” as nicely as “extreme rainfall” as it comes ashore, the NHC advisory mentioned.

A hurricane warning is in impact for Providencia, the coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras/Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi, as nicely as the coast of Honduras from Punta Patuca to the Nicaragua border, in accordance to NHC.

Navy members help evacuate people from the Karata and Wawa Bar communities ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Iota in Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua Sunday.

The storm is forecast to go close to or over Providencia Island Monday bringing hurricane situations as it takes intention on the Nicaraguan and Honduran coasts.

Hurricane watches and tropical storm warnings are additionally in impact for surrounding areas.

“Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” the advisory mentioned.

Heavy rains might deliver flooding and landslides

Once the storm makes landfall it’s expected to to transfer westward and southwestward by way of Central America.

Rainfall accumulations all through the area are expected to be excessive, with Honduras, northern Nicaragua, Guatemala, southern Belize seeing between eight and sixteen inches and remoted accumulations of 20-30 inches doable in northeast Nicaragua and northern Honduras, in accordance to the advisory.

Costa Rica an Panama also needs to see about 4 to eight inches, with totals of 12 inches doable in some areas.

Such excessive rainfall quantities will “lead to significant, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with mudslides in areas of higher terrain,” the advisory warned.

The predicted storm surge alongside the coasts of Nicarague and Honduras can be accompanied by “large and destructive waves,” together with swells that trigger “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” in accordance to the NHC.

Swells can be felt from Central America to the Yucatan Peninsula, as far east as Jamaica and south the Colombia.

Central America nonetheless recovering from Eta

Iota would be the second storm to hit the world in as many weeks. On November 3, Hurricane Eta made landfall as a Category 4 storm, inflicting landslides and flooding that displaced thousands and left scores of people dead or missing.
People try to recover belongings amid mud after the passage of Hurricane Eta as they prepare to evacuate the Omonita neighborhood in El Progreso, Yoro department, Honduras.
It is the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which has left its mark as a historic season bringing 30 named storms — probably the most ever.

More than 3.6 million folks throughout Central America have been affected by the storm to various levels, the Red Cross mentioned earlier this week.

While the total extent of the harm from Eta will not be identified for some time, the highly effective storm, mixed with the coronavirus pandemic, might have impacts that final for years.

Tropical Storm Eta heads offshore leaving six dead in North Carolina and Florida

The storm hovered for days over Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, with heavy rains creating flooding and landslides that wiped total communities off the map.

Dozens of individuals within the distant Guatemalan village of San Cristobal stay lacking after a landslide swept by way of final week, leaving mud 50 ft deep in some locations.

CNN’s Robert Shackelford and Gene Norman contributed to this report.

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